Holland Middle School


What is Project Lead The Way?

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a class that requires all students to be collaborative, creative, and utilize critical thinking skills. PLTW classes are completely centered on learning about the most vital fields and professions needed in the world today and tomorrow.

Middle school is the perfect time for students to explore and learn that there are more than one way to reach a  solution. PLTW Gateway provides Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. Students get rigorous and relevant experiences through activity-, project-, and  problem-based learning. They use industry leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in  communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity.

Click Image Below to Learn More About PLTW!


Why Enroll in STEM at Holland Middle School?

PLTW Gateway is a strong foundation for further STEM learning at Baldwin Park High School and beyond.  Our goal is to challenge our students to solve real-world problems, such as designing and prototyping a foot orthosis for a patient that has cerebral palsy. Using the same advanced software and tools as those used by the world’s leading companies, students learn how to apply math, science, technology, and engineering to everyday problems.

The hands-on, activity project, problem-based program engages students on multiple levels and  exposes them to subjects that they typically would not pursue. Project Lead The Way provides students with a strong foundation for achieving their  academic goals in any chosen field of study and, if pursued, it will help students establishes a proven path to college and career success in STEM related industries. We promote a learning community where questions are encouraged, and students work through the problems to find a solution.


STEM Course Slideshow

PLTW Gateway Courses Offered at Holland Middle

Core Courses

The following courses are the core classes or prerequisites which are needed for enrollment into the advance STEM courses.

AR Slideshow

Automation & Robotics (STEM AR)

Automation & Robotics (STEM AR)

(Semester long course)

Automation and Robotics gives an understanding of what robots are used for and the effect they have on our lives. Students will learn about mechanical and automated systems by using VEX Robotics components and the ROBOTC programming language to build, model and test solutions to automated problems.

Students are presented with design and building challenges, such as building a windmill that can grind grain, building a car that can be two-wheel or four-wheel drive and creating and programming a car to follow a line autonomously or by remote control.


DM Slideshow

Design & Modeling (STEM DM)

(Semester long course)

This course is the foundation of PLTW Gateway for middle school. Design & Modeling teaches the steps of the Design Process and how this helps to solve problems. Sketching and Dimensioning teaches students to identify and create perspective and to measure them correctly.

Students use Autodesk Inventor or Autodesk123 (3D computer aided design software) to learn how to create 3D models. Challenges include projects such as creating a toy and a foot orthosis for a patient with cerebral palsy.


Advanced STEM Courses

In order to enroll in the following courses students must have completed Automation & Robotics and Design & Modeling.

Medical Detectives (STEM MD)

(Semester long course)

In Medical Detectives students explore the biomedical sciences through hands-on projects and labs that require the students to solve a variety of medical mysteries. Students investigate medical careers, vital signs, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as human body systems such as the nervous system. One project involves a sheep brain dissection. Genetic testing for hereditary diseases and DNA crime scene analysis put the students in the role of real life medical detectives, such as solving a murder mystery by doing electrophoresis.


App Creators (STEM CSApp)

(Semester long course)

This unit exposes students to computer science as a means of computationally analyzing and developing solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development, and conveys the positive impact of the application of computer science to other disciplines and to society.


AR2 Competition Team Slideshow

Advanced Automation & Robotics - VEX Competition Team (STEM AR2)

Vex Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The VEX Robotics Competition is the biggest and fastest growing robotics competition in the world, currently with over 16,000 teams competing in over 40 countries.

A VEX competition is an event where the robots play against each other in a match of skill. The robots do not damage each other. 

The Holland 6th-8th grade student teams are entered into VEX VRC competitions. Standard Matches are played between red and blue robot alliances that compete against each other to score points. Alliances are randomly formed of two robots each. Typically, the teams robots will get a chance to run several Standard Matches, and Skill Challenge matches, with the robot that gets the highest accumulated score at the end of a competition receiving recognition. Teams can also receive recognition for displaying certain skill sets including, design, creativity, and teamwork.

There are also "online challenges" and other STEM related projects that the teams of all grades can participate in as well.

Flight & SpaceĀ  (STEM FS)

(Semester long course)

Students in FS will be introduced to the history of flight through hands-on activities and research. They will also design an aircraft or spacecraft as they discover the science of flying, design and test propulsion. They will complete activities while learning about the history and principles of space travel. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build and test an airfoil.